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  • Bedouins living in Israel

    Bedouins living in Israel's southern Negev region protest against government plans to confiscate their land. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 October 2015

Israel razed Palestinian village of al-Araqib in the southern Negev region as it claims ithe homes were built with no permits. Locals disagree.

A Bedouin Palestinian village have been demolished Wednesday for the 90th time since 2010 by the Israeli authorities as part of the Israeli government's crackdown on what it calls “unrecognzied” villages in the area.

Al-Araqib is one of more than 40 "unrecognized" villages scattered across the Negev region.

Accompanied by heavily armed police officers, officials showed up in al-Araqib Wednesday morning and bulldozers rolled through the remaining homes, according to local media.

The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights estimates that 22 families made up of 110 people live in al-Araqib. The villagers return and rebuild after each demolition.

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"Israel plans on putting a forest in the place of their homes," Majd Kayyal, Adalah's media coordinator, told Al Jazeera. "They continue storming the village to demolish it and evict its residents."

Meanwhile, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel estimated 80,000 Bedouin Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship live in the communities, which are often denied state services, including water, electricity, garbage pickup and education facilities,

While Israel claims the homes in the villages were built illegally without official permits, the locals say they were moved there by the state after they were displaced from their original homes and towns during the founding of Israel in 1948.

More than 1.7 million Palestinians hold Israeli citizenship and live across the country. However, right groups in Israel, Palestine and abroad say that those Palestinians, who represent almost 20 percent of Israel's population, are systematically discriminated against by Israeli polices that limit their access to civil rights, education and political expression.

In May, Adalah issued a database documenting more than 50 discriminatory laws directly or indirectly target Palestinian citizens of Israel by quelling their political expression and limiting their access to state resources, notably land.

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Arab lawmakers in the Israeli national assembly slammed the government over its demolition of the village.

"Instead of adopting policies of equal allocation of resources and responding to the special socioeconomic needs of the Arab community [in Israel], Israeli leaders - including [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu - continue to increase these harsh, discriminatory policies," Yousef Jabareen, a legislator in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, and member of the Joint List, a political alliance of four Arab-dominated parties in Israel, told Al Jazeera.

The news comes at a time of heightened tension between Israel and Palestinians as clashes continue in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza strip. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, including children, while thousands have been injured as the Israeli army uses live ammunition against the anti-occupation Palestinian protesters who resist using stones and rocks.

The clashes were sparked by successive incursions by hard-line Israeli groups into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam.

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